Archaeology, Ritual, Religion (Themes in Archaeology) by Timothy Insoll
Review written May 30, 2019
I cannot remember ever having to almost force myself through another non-fiction in order to gleam a few nuggets of wisdom. If we were mining for gold, this is not a vein of desire.
Timothy Insoll does indeed have a replete grasp of the topic. His contributions to Archaeology and World Religion reflected a much more accessible approach to the material, where the non-specialist could understand and gain valuable insight from the material. I feel confident in giving this criticism about this work, as it is only in the final chapter the direct implication that this work is written for degree-bearing archaeologists is given. Otherwise, everything else assumes it is for the knowledgeable non-specialist.
Despite this, there are indeed nuggets of wisdom, and although we are here discussing only 155 pages of wisdom, it is indeed a dense mine for gathering those nuggets. With a valuable bibliography, I will happily contribute 3 out of 5 stars in Amazon’s rating; but 3.5 if given the option. My suggestion is to read the awesome Prologue, Chapter 1 and the last 2 chapters. Then pick up and salivate over the erudite wisdom of Michael Willis’ The Archaeology of Hindu Ritual: Temples and the Establishment of the Gods.